Allison Ostenfeld test-sailing the new Firebug training dinghy at the weekend.
Allison Ostenfeld test-sailing the new Firebug training dinghy at the weekend.

Sailing's easier aboard Firebug

THE Big River Sailing Club launched a new training boat last weekend.

The ‘Firebug’, a 2.4 metre plywood dinghy that originates from Auckland and is raced regularly throughout New Zealand is enjoying increasing popularity worldwide.

This latest addition results largely from the efforts of BRSC Training Officer John Woods, who has worked on the project over the last few months.

The unsinkable design features a flat bottom and independent watertight compartments fore, aft, and along both sides. The superior level of comfort and stability, and the extra buoyancy means the boat can double as a child or adult trainer.

While reluctant to capsize in the first instance, when righted the boat comes up almost dry, meaning less bailing and more time spent sailing.

Importantly, the dinghy also represents a return to traditional amateur boat building.

Aside from the satisfaction and skills acquisition that come from undertaking such projects, the final product is a cost-effective alternative to the expensive composite constructions that now dominate other classes.

This latest project represents a commitment by the Big River Sailing Club to continually explore options that improve the accessibility and affordability of the sport.

Training sessions are held each Saturday morning from 10am. Anyone interested in learning to sail can contact John Woods on 6645 1270.

In other news, the club held a pre-Christmas pointscore event last Saturday.

A small fleet dominated by Lasers contested a three-race sprint series in the sultry conditions.

Laser newcomer Zac Heuchmer showed his continued improvement by taking out two of the three races.

Next week the club will host Accessible Sailing in the morning and a Club Championship round in the afternoon.

Members are reminded to bring a plate for afternoon tea.



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